Roger Federer started playing tennis in the late 80s, with a wooden racquet and white balls instead of regular yellow ones. Like many other players back then, Roger hit against the wall, garage doors or cupboards, dreaming about competing on the big stage and the rivals from the top.
That would all come some ten years later, with the young Swiss making incredible progress throughout his junior days and early pro years, becoming a Major champion in 2003 and world no. 1 six months later. Speaking for the ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot, Roger recalled those early years and things he used to do outside the court, collecting stickers with players and trophies before becoming a part of the home Basel event where he made a debut against Andre Agassi in 1998.
The 20-time Major champion has been a role model for many current young tennis stars and upcoming heroes.
Roger Federer spoke about his early tennis days.
Like all the other players, Federer has had some dark moments in those most challenging moments throughout the years.
However, he is usually calm and collected on the court, focusing on tennis and the rival on the other side of the net. Still, that was not always the case, as it would be hard to recognize Roger for his behavior until the end of his teenage years.
The Swiss could not keep his temper down right from the very first competitive matches in juniors, throwing racquets, swearing and having something to say about every point he would lose! That all changed in the early 00s, and Federer became one of the world's best players and a Major contender.
"My first memories go back to playing with a wooden racquet. Instead of the neon yellow tennis balls, I started with the white tennis balls. In Switzerland, we used a lot of pressure-less tennis balls as well. I do not know how many players of this generation today could say that.
I remember playing against the wall and at the cupboards and the garage doors for hours. I collected a lot of the stickers as well. I guess there was a year, and it was the beginning of the 90s when all the old tennis players were in a book.
It was about the tournaments, the trophies, the players, so I got to know them all. And then eventually, I also became a ball boy in my hometown event in Basel. I chased the players for autographs, which was not a big deal back then, as the selfie did not exist. Those are my memories really from back then," Roger Federer said.